Deepwater Horizon Spill Day 8: A Brief One (The Post, Not the Day)

First and foremost, I want to thank Greg Massey for agreeing to blog in last night.  I took Greg up on an offer he made awhile back (yes you did, Greg, don’t argue!) last night to try and inject another voice on this spill blog – one from someone with extensive spill experience but watching from afar and only getting sporadic and often conflicting information on the impact to wildlife.  Honest, I wasn’t ducking out on you, I swear.  I fully understand the frustration that many of you must feel at wanting to help so bad (I was right there with you for the Treasure spill), so thought it would be good to have someone with extensive spill experience (e.g., a spill junkie) report out on his feelings.  I know you have heard this before, but for those of you who want to help, please register on the BP site and be patient.  I truly hope we don”t need to use you (as that would mean the spill will remain at low impacts for collected animals) but, should it get big, boy will we call you!

However, tonight, I am afraid I am going to have to make this posting short and sweet (and, yes, I know you have heard that from me just before an 800-word posting).  It has been an extremely busy day (as is evidenced by my starting this blog at 10:47 CST) working on a multitude of tasks (including trying to determine the potential effects of hard boom on turtles returning to beaches to nest, wrestling with managing a response across three command posts now, and responding to several erroneous reports of  large numbers of animals impacted).  Probably the most important thing I need to do this evening is to finish developing a PowerPoint presentation to give via webinar tomorrow morning to our mammal/turtle partners in the area going over chain of custody procedures, sample collection, live and dead animal processing and health and safety issues.  I think it is wonderful that I can use a method that has been so effective in delivering information to our OWCN Members right here on the front lines to connect real time to folks from New Orleans to Miami.  Ah, technology!

So, I will leave you tonight with two things:

1) Animal counts: No apparently oiled mammals or turtles have yet been collected.  Bird info can be found on IBRRC’s excellent blog.

2) A request wrapped in a favor: As this spill goes on, I would like to be able to answer questions from you, my loyal readers (note tongue firmly in cheek), on things or topics that you may have not heard about but were interested in.  If you could, please send them directly to me at wildlifehealth@ucdavis.edu and I will try and answer some/all of them in the subsequent posts, find someone who can answer them, or make up answers in a believable manner (See, I am responsive and trainable, Mom!).  Please don’t ask how many hours I have worked since being here – that is an answer that will just get me into trouble.

Until tomorrow then.  I promise an extra-special blog to celebrate Friday (and yes I had to check my watch to see what day it was!).

– Mike

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